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FOLLOWUP: ‘Hate-Free Delridge’ is born; community event in the works

By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The fledgling group formed in response to a hate crime against a Pigeon Point family has named itself “Hate-Free Delridge” and is planning a community event.

We first reported two weeks ago about the group’s formation, in response to the racist, threatening note left on the porch of Stephanie Endres and her family last month.

The group just met for the second time. Its goal is to bring the community together while fostering acceptance, tolerance, and inclusion. Read More

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CONGRATULATIONS! Purple-belt success for Coach Sonia Sillan from Elite BJJ of Seattle

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(Photos courtesy Elite BJJ of Seattle)

Congratulations to Coach Sonia Sillan of Elite Brazilian Jiu-jitsu of Seattle (5050 Delridge Way SW; WSB sponsor) for her achievement in her first competition as a purple belt. At the recent IBJJF Seattle Open, she took third place in her division (at right in the top photo). From sister school Elite BJJ of Redmond, black belt Professor Jessica Dos Santos took second place in her division and first in open weight class – she’s in the next photo along with Elite BJJ founder/head Professor Miriam Cardoso:

Elite BJJ of Seattle is one of the local organizations and businesses you’ll see at tomorrow’s Delridge Day festival (11 am-3 pm at Delridge Community Center park) – look for their booth! (And look for one more big Delridge Day preview here on WSB – a festival co-sponsor – this afternoon.)

FOLLOWUP: Pigeon Point, Puget Ridge neighbors gather to start planning a no-hate campaign

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Story and photo by Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Motivated by last week’s hate crime against the Endres family on Pigeon Point, 10 concerned neighbors got together tonight to talk about what they could do to make the family feel safe in their community.

On Tuesday night last week, someone left a racist, threatening note on the door of the Endres home. The disturbing message made it clear that the author did not appreciate her mixed-race children.

Rachel Glass, the precinct committee officer for the area, organized tonight’s meeting at a nearby coffee shop. Read More

Another achievement for record-setting West Seattle rower Erden Eruç

IMG_0188 (c)Ellen Hoke Photography
(Photos by Ellen Hoke, courtesy The Great Pacific Race)

Another achievement for the West Seattle-residing ocean rower who holds world records including having become the first solo human-powered global circumnavigator: Erden Eruç and a rowing partner completed The Great Pacific Race, billed by its organizers as “the world’s ultimate endurance challenge.” Eruç and Louis Bird, as the Sons of the Pacific team, made the ~2,400-nautical-mile crossing from Monterey, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii in 54 days and 42 minutes, arriving last Thursday.

IMG_0952 (c)Ellen Hoke Photography

Eruç had joined the team days before departure, after Bird’s original partner had to drop out because of illness. The two connected after Bird met Eruç’s wife Nancy Board at a memorial service in San Francisco, and Eruç said he felt he had to fill in, “as an elder in the sport of ocean rowing.” (He celebrated his 55th birthday during the race.) Bird is the son of ocean-rowing legend Peter Bird, who set a record with 938 days of ocean rowing before being lost at sea when his son was just 4 – Eruç has come close to that with 933 days in all after this trip.

This was the second running of The Great Pacific Race; the first was in 2014, the next scheduled for 2018. This year, it had six teams of two or four rowers, all starting the journey on June 4th; Eruç and Bird were the fourth to finish (the first was a four-person crew) and the last finishers are due in Hawaii tomorrow.

(Thanks to Vlad Oustimovitch for the tip on this!)

‘We need all the help we can get’: Urban Homestead Foundation working to make dream come true at ex-substation site

(Animation courtesy MyPad3D)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Urban Homestead Foundation‘s dream for the former Dakota Substation on Genesee Hill is starting to take shape and take wing.

We first reported on this back in May, when the group discussed its plan at a meeting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association.

That was five months after the City Council passed an ordinance addressing the future of local surplus ex-substations, including the one at 50th and Dakota (map), agreeing to give community members until fall of next year to buy it, before they list it on the open market.

So the Urban Homestead Foundation has a deadline. And it has a 3-D animation version of its vision for the site, produced and donated by West Seattle-headquartered MyPad3D, at the top of this story.

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We sat down recently with UHF president Katie Stemp (above), under the shady trees out front of the site she and other volunteers hope to transform.

Here’s where they’re at: Read More

Tribal canoe families to stop at Alki next week during Paddle to Nisqually

(WSB photo from July 2012)

For the first time in four years, tribal canoe families are scheduled to stop at Alki Beach during the annual regional canoe journey. Canoe families from around the region are headed into the South Sound on the Paddle to Nisqually, and the Muckleshoots are scheduled to host them at Alki on Wednesday (July 27th). Participating canoes are due to land in Nisqually three days later for a weeklong event. We don’t yet know the expected arrival time nor how many canoes are expected, but hope to get more information soon.

UPDATE: New encampment on Myers Way: ‘Camp Second Chance’

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1:30 PM: After a reader tip about what appeared to be a tent encampment setting up along Myers Way – near where other campers have been living on slopes and in RVs – we went over to check it out, and that’s exactly what we found. It’s being set up in a fenced area immediately south of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints building; we haven’t figured out yet who owns the land, nor did the person we spoke with know. (The church owns 2 1/2 acres, and property boundaries aren’t obvious; online records show a small streetfront parcel south of the church is owned by a dump-truck company.) He identified it as the “Second Chance” camp, with 25 residents, a self-policing camp with strict no-drugs/alcohol/violence policies.

Since visiting the site less than an hour ago, we’ve done some online research, and it appears this is “Camp Second Chance Through Grace,” listed on this citywide clearinghouse website as having had a sanctioned site at a church a few miles south for the past three months. Another page on the same site says CSCTG is a “family camp.” It is still in the process of setting up, and only a few people, all appearing to be adults, were in view.

P.S. Elsewhere on Myers Way, we observed that RVs are no longer parked in the area outside the gates to the city-owned land on the west side of the street; we counted about half a dozen parked on both sides of the street to the north. The area by the gates had been a “staging area” for some RV campers that were expected to move to a “safe lot” in Highland Park but the city scrapped the idea before it ever opened.

4:55 PM: After commenter Ben questioned whether this was indeed “Camp Second Chance,” we went to the church listed as the camp’s home until today, where we verified that encampment had indeed moved out today, and headed to a site on Myers Way.

ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: We e-mailed the address listed on the Greater Seattle Cares website to try to find out more; here’s the reply we received this morning from Polly Trout, executive director of Patacara Community Services:

Camp Second Chance is currently in dire need of a new site. As of July 18, they are temporarily located at 9502 Myers Way South, Seattle WA 98106. This parcel is privately owned and right next to the Myers Parcels, unused City of Seattle property. The camp is working very hard to find a better solution. Most likely, a city eviction notice will be issued today and the camp will have 72 hours to move or be swept.

The camp has been self-governing since April, when the founding members left Tent City 3 in order to create an independent camp more aligned with their needs and values. I have been providing supportive services to the camp for the last two months and have gotten to know them well. This is a model encampment with excellent and ethical leadership. The camp is clean, quiet, drug and alcohol free, and well managed. The community works cooperatively as a team to solve problems and meet the needs of the campers. They have a democratic governing process and an outstanding core leadership committee.

Currently, the camp has 25 members, but would like to increase to 40 if possible. They need to be located on a bus line and have access to water. My nonprofit, Patacara Community Services, is committed to providing the camp with Honeybucket services. Ideally, the camp would be able to plug into the church’s electrical power to run the camp refrigerator. If they do not have power access, they do have a generator. They also will need trash removal, and we can work with the church to find a solution that is economical. If your church has the room to host but is on a tight budget, the camp can contribute to your utilities bills for the duration of their stay. They collect dues from participants to cover basic expenses, and my nonprofit also fundraises donations for them.

The camp members are a mixture of families and single people. Most are working; some are disabled, parenting, retired, or looking for work. They are receiving supportive services and wait listed for housing.

The camp needs at least 7,000 square feet to function properly, and 10,000 is better. If your church wants to help but doesn’t have the space, and private land can be used. The land owner can legally lease the land to your church for a dollar and then the religious encampment laws extend to that land and allow you to host an encampment on the land. So if anyone in your congregation has unused property on a bus route with water access, that land can be used. If your church or a private landowner wants to help but can’t afford to, we can fundraise for rent.

A policy brief about why encampments are necessary, written by Seattle University’s Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, can be viewed here: https://law.seattleu.edu/centers-and-institutes/korematsu-center/initiatives/homeless-rights-advocacy-project

The Washington State law concerning the right of religious groups to host encampments can be viewed here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=36.01.290

Patacara Community Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; our EIN number is 46-3744862. Our mission is to provide services to those who are suffering, and our current programming focuses on offering respectful and compassionate service to those suffering from homelessness and poverty in King County, Washington.

West Seattle schools: Marcus Pimpleton returning to Denny IMS, as assistant principal

One year ago, award-winning educator Marcus Pimpleton left his longtime music-leadership roles at Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School for a new career direction, school administration, saying he wanted “to learn what it takes to be the type of leader that can help to ensure that all students have access to the high level instruction and experiences that put them on the path for successes in school, college, and life.”

Now that new direction is bringing him back to West Seattle: Pimpleton is returning to Denny IMS as assistant principal, the same position he held at Bellevue’s Interlake High School this past year. Here’s part of how he explained his decision to his now-former colleagues there:

Denny has always been a special place near and dear to my heart. When my grandmother passed away during my 5th grade year, it was a teacher from my elementary school who followed me to Denny and rallied together a community of teachers, counselors, and school administrators to support and nurture me along the path of middle school, high school, college, and beyond. Their deposit into my life is the inspiration for my life’s work which I sincerely believe is to provide leadership that expands educational opportunities for our most impacted students in our most challenged communities. The opportunity to go deeper into this calling in my own neighborhood, in the very school where I was the recipient of this type of leadership and nurturing, is too special of an opportunity to pass up.

Pimpleton has kept a hand in the world of music education as director of the All-City Band (whose busy summer includes three West Seattle events later this month).

“We are very pleased to welcome Mr. Pimpleton back as our new Assistant Principal!” Denny principal Jeff Clark told WSB, when we asked him to confirm the news after hearing about it from several parents (thanks again to them for the tip). First day of classes this year is September 7th, but of course school staffers are back at work long before that.

PHOTOS: #BlackLivesMatter demonstration at West Seattle Summer Fest

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(WSB photos/video unless otherwise credited)

At the start, we counted about 50 people … by the time it ended an hour later with a gathering where it had started, today’s #BlackLivesMatter demonstration in The Junction had at least tripled. We included some photos in our as-it-happened festival coverage, but have more to share, including video.

As announced, this was a silent march – no chanting or shouting; the background noise of the festival was most of what you would have heard if you had stood and watched. Some came to the festival just to participate, stopping at the Information Tent first to verify where it would begin.

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Lashanna Williams, who organized the march, greeted the crowd, which proceeded to travel around the festival’s perimeter. Some carried signs; some did not. Some signs bore photos, some bore names – many names:

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At least one bore a question:

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Others, statements:

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(Photo by BDP)

And some simply urged love:

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After almost an hour, the march ended where it had begun, in the heart of The Junction. It was bookended by 360-degree group photos [see the 1 pm photo here] taken by the same photographer who minutes later was doing the same for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s campaign celebrating Junction history … as this became another page of it.

‘Silent march’ planned for Saturday in The Junction

Announced via a Facebook event page, a demonstration at noon Saturday in The Junction, titled “Black Lives Matter: Silent march for youths and friends.” The link was e-mailed to us overnight; the times on the responses indicate it was announced sometime before 3:15 pm yesterday. Local volunteer and entrepreneur Lashanna Williams writes in the invitation:

Together we show that this has to stop, and we are the agents of change. We are. Our children are. We ARE agents of change.

Don’t wait for someone to change it…. Let’s do it.

Saturday at noon together, we will walk around the festival carrying the names of the black lives lost to police violence this year. Together we will hold space for the lives taken, we can create space for change, meaningful change.

My son, danté and my daughter, coco, will be just outside Easy Street Records at 12:00. They will help to lead silent peaceful protest line through the festival.

Kids, please bring your parents. Parents, please bring your kids and walk.

I know an hour doesn’t right all the wrongs, but it is a way to express our anger and sadness with our children, formulate thoughts with other adults, and just share space with others who are just DONE.

FOLLOWUP: Lora Swift to serve as interim West Seattle Junction Association interim director

(Susan Melrose, Jenelle Clark, Lora Swift, photographed today by WSB’s Patrick Sand)

We first reported one month ago that West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose is leaving after almost a decade. Today, an update on what happens next – here’s what Melrose just announced to WSJA members and other associates:

The Junction Association’s Board of Directors asked me to offer a staffing update to our community. I’m pleased to share that the staffing plan will leave the organization in very good hands.

As you already know, I have taken a new position and will be leaving the organization after Summer Fest. Additionally, Jenelle has decided to take a position with a different organization. Jenelle has been a tremendous asset to WSJA and has improved many aspects of the organization. The board is very appreciative of her efforts and dedication, and I know that sentiment is shared throughout our business community. Jenelle will also be with WSJA through Summer Fest.

The Board of Directors created an Interim Director position. I am thrilled to report that Lora Swift was offered the job, and she accepted! For those who do not know Lora, she owns Hotwire Coffeehouse, previously served on the board for many years, founded the Art Walk, chaired the Outdoor Movies series, and more. Lora has a tremendous depth of knowledge about the organization, and she’s looking forward keeping WSJA moving forward. She will start on July 1 and will work 24 hours/week. Lora will focus on keeping the BIA running smoothly and advancing select bodies of work.

The Board will continue to determine next steps in a securing permanent staffing plan and you’ll be kept abreast as developments occur.

I look forward to my 10th Summer Fest with the organization! Jenelle, Lora and I will all be on hand to make sure that this event is a great success for both Junction businesses and the neighborhood.

West Seattle Summer Fest (co-sponsored again this year by WSB) starts one week from Friday – this year’s dates are July 8, 9, and 10th.

FREE: Self-defense & bullyproofing seminars at Elite BJJ of Seattle

Sonia Sillan from Elite BJJ of Seattle (WSB sponsor) in North Delridge wants you to know they still have some room in these two free seminars coming up:

WOMEN’S SELF-DEFENSE SEMINAR: This Saturday (July 2nd), a free two-hour seminar starting at 11 am: “Our goal is to leave you with more knowledge, feeling more empowered, and understanding of what self-defense really means (both mentally and physically).” More info here; go here ASAP to RSVP; open to all women/girls 10 and up.

KIDS’ BULLYPROOF SEMINAR: Two free sessions on Sunday, July 10th, ages 6-8 at 11 am, ages 9-12 at 1 pm: “Our approach is a very simple and fundamental one, focusing on empowering the student. It isn’t about telling on the bully; that can in fact make matters worse. It’s about having the confidence to believe in yourself and stand up to other kids.” More info here; RSVP ASAP by going here. Note – parents must attend too.

P.S. While the seminars are truly free, Coach Sonia adds this:

Elite BJJ of Seattle supports New Beginnings-Ending Domestic Violence and would like to ask for donations for their needs. Their mission is to empower survivors and mobilizes community awareness and action to end domestic violence, and they provide housing and support to victims and their families, but they can’t do it alone. If you are able, please donate anything from the following list:
– full size toiletries
– twin size bedding
– school supplies
– gift cards (QFC, Safeway, etc)
– school supplies
– check donation of any amount made out to New Beginnings

West Seattle scene: ‘Kind Club’ launches

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Maybe you saw them in Morgan Junction on Tuesday? Local volunteer and entrepreneur Lashanna Williams sent the photo from the first smile-inspiring field trip of The Kind Club. She says they were out in the neighborhood “giving out flowers, wishing people a good day, and waving some positive signs to the people driving by!” It’s for young women ages 8-11, explained here, and she says they have room for new members to join before the second meeting in two weeks.

West Seattle scenes: School’s-out street party

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(WSB photos)

The street party is on, rain or shine – note the jackets accompanying the leis – on a block of 48th SW near Ercolini Park tonight. The occasion: Today was the last day of classes for Seattle Public Schools, and these neighbors are Schmitz Park Elementary families, marking a double-milestone occasion: This was their students’ last day at Schmitz Park, with the new Genesee Hill Elementary opening in September.

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The band Däd – with the umlaut! – was delayed a bit due to the rain, but the show must go on:

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Greeters Amy and Brooke explained part of the inspiration for the party was the pig-roast prize won at the school fundraising auction; a few of the neighbors had the winning bid. Summertime also brings “Aloha Friday” get-togethers at the park, and since the last day of school was a Friday this year, the theme just fit:

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P.S. Thanks for calling to let us know about the party!

Retirement celebration Sunday at West Seattle Christian Church for Alan and Lois Gardner

(Photo courtesy WSCC)

Another local faith community is hosting a celebration of longtime leaders who are about to retire. From West Seattle Christian Church in The Junction:

West Seattle Christian Church invites the community to celebrate Alan and Lois Gardner’s retirement on June 26th in the church’s Activity Center. Since the 1970s they have been a special part of the West Seattle community and the church. Alan served first as Minister of Christian Education and later as Preaching Minister. Lois (aka “Mrs. Gardner”) is beloved by her former preschool and kindergarten students at West Seattle Christian School. They’ve touched so many. Please join in honoring them. The service is at 9:30 am Sunday and there will be a social time after the service.

The church and Activity Center are at 4400 42nd SW.

Fifth year of international competition for AMNO & CO underwater-robotics team

June 23, 2016 10:38 am
|    Comments Off on Fifth year of international competition for AMNO & CO underwater-robotics team
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

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(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand, taken June 15 at Evergreen Aquatic Center)

It’s a big year for the three local students collectively known as the underwater-robotics team AMNO & CO. In April, we mentioned their by-invitation appearance at the White House Science Fair. Starting today, the team is competing internationally again, this time in Houston. Our photos are from their last local practice – at Evergreen Aquatic Center in White Center – and this is their official news release:

In May, AMNO & CO ROV team qualified for the MATE international ROV competition in Houston, Texas. (Check out the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition at marinetech.org.)

For the three team members – Alex Miller, Clara Orndorff, and Nicholas Orndorff – this will be their fifth consecutive year at the international competition, and as always, the team with the fewest members. However, for the first time, the team will be competing in the Explorer (mostly college) class, a benefit from having won the Ranger (mostly high school) class at last year’s international event.

Ever since AMNO & CO began competing in MATE competitions seven years ago, it has been one of the team’s goals to participate at this level, since college teams bring a unique and elevated standard of innovation which pushes the boundaries of ROV technology.

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(From left, Alex and Nicholas; Clara had already headed to Houston)

ROVs are extremely valuable for accomplishing tasks in environments which would otherwise be inaccessible to humans due to depth, chemical hazards, temperature conditions, and other risk factors. This year’s tasks require teams to build a vehicle which can function reliably in both Gulf Coast oil waters as well as under the ice sheet of Jupiter’s moon, Europa. Teams have to design and build a vehicle to access CubeSats (miniature satellites), secure wellhead components, take sensor measurements, and assess the general condition of the environment in Europa. In doing these tasks, AMNO & CO will be competing against the qualifying teams from countries that include the USA, Canada, Egypt, China, Hong Kong, Scotland, Russia and several others.

While MATE’s tasks require teams to execute a set of specific mission objectives in a tank, communication is also emphasized in the competition, so teams have to write a technical report, create a poster, and deliver an engineering presentation, much in the way that members of a real company would.

In Houston, AMNO & CO will compete in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab, a 40-foot-deep test tank that houses a full-scale mockup of the International Space Station designed for astronauts to practice space walks before executing them in real life. This facility creates a unique challenge, because it requires teams to operate in a depth much greater than an ordinary swimming pool (where most teams including AMNO & CO practice), simulating the effect of operating in an unknown environment such as Europa.

In addition to competing and fundraising for the MATE competition, AMNO & CO seeks to instill their passion for engineering in others. For instance, they gave a special presentation in the Seattle Aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters tank, piloting their ROV for an eager audience of spectators, and showing close up views of genial rockfish and gorgeous anemones. Also, team member Alex Miller mentored the Junior Huskies, an ROV team of West Seattle students at Washington Middle School, who, through their exceptional teamwork, problem solving and intellectual curiosity won the Scout (middle school) class at the MATE Pacific Northwest Regional Competition at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatics Center.

In addition, during Spring Break, AMNO & CO was surprised and honored to have the opportunity to participate in the White House Science Fair, where they got to demonstrate their vehicle to many interested scientists and celebrities, meet other students with fascinating projects, and shake hands with President Obama.

This year’s international competition will be held June 23-26. For more information about the competition, please contact Jill Zande at jzande@marinetech.org. For more information about AMNO & CO, please visit facebook.com/AMNOandCoROV or contact them at amnoandco@live.com.

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Here’s our report on AMNO & CO’s victory last year. We first reported on the team in 2012; Nicholas and Alex are now 17, and Clara is 19. Good luck to them in Houston!

CONGRATULATIONS! Clay Eals to receive 2016 Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community

(WSB photo, 2015, Clay Eals @ announcement of new owner for Alki Homestead)
Congratulations to Clay Eals – author, historian, heritage advocate, and journalist – who has just been announced as this year’s recipient of the Orville Rummel Trophy for Outstanding Service to the Community. It’s awarded each year in connection with the West Seattle Grand Parade, presented by the Rotary Club of West Seattle, this year on Saturday, July 23. The official announcement continues:

Eals is perhaps best known locally as editor of the “West Side Story” history book and for his leadership of the successful drive to secure city landmark status for the Admiral Theater and, more recently, as executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

He is a lifetime member of and volunteered in many roles for the historical society since its founding in 1984. In 2013, the organization’s board hired him as its first executive director. Besides staff oversight of the historical society, he is directly responsible for its volunteer recruitment, fundraising and outreach.

(2014 photo by David Hutchinson)

During his tenure as executive director, the organization has restored, raised, and unveiled the Admiral totem pole at its 1904 “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum on Alki, culminating in a 2014 ceremony drawing 1,300 people, including 950 schoolchildren. The historical society also facilitated the transition of ownership and in-progress restoration of the beloved 1904 Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead and staged “Group Hug” photo events for the Homestead (1,000 schoolchildren in 2015) and the Admiral Theater (750 schoolchildren earlier this month):

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(Photo by Jean Sherrard, courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society; click here to see full-size version on SWSHS website)

In that span, the organization broadened its ranks of donors, sponsors, members and volunteers, strengthened the collection and exhibit operations of its museum, built its annual Champagne Gala Brunch to capacity crowds at Salty’s on Alki, revived and revamped its annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tours, and created two ongoing monthly series: “Words, Writers, & West Seattle” featuring local authors at Barnes & Noble Westwood Village and “SouthWest Stories” featuring local history speakers rotating among the Seattle Public Library’s five branches on the peninsula.

Along the way, the organization won honors from the Association of King County Historical Organizations for Best Single Impact Event (for the 2014 totem unveiling) and from the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce as Nonprofit of the Year for 2015.

(WSB photo, 2015, Westside Award for SWSHS as Nonprofit of the Year)

Eals’ earlier achievements came during and immediately after his 15 years as an editor, reporter and photographer for four Northwest newspapers.

During his five years as editor of the West Seattle Herald and White Center News (part of Robinson Newspapers), the papers produced “Bridging the Gap,” a 104-page special section in 1984 that chronicled local transportation history and the opening of the high-level West Seattle Bridge, and followed that by publishing in 1987 the first local history book, “West Side Story,” which took its inspiration from “Mr. West Seattle” Normie Beers. A yearlong project that involved the papers’ entire staff and scores of volunteers, the 288-page “West Side Story” remains the definitive account of local community heritage.

Soon after his departure from Robinson Newspapers in 1988, Eals was elected president of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society board to succeed founder and first president Elliott Couden. In his first month of three years in that position, faced with the imminent closure of the Admiral Theater, Eals involved others, including local elected officials, in staging a closing-night picket event that led to an intensive community campaign that six months later secured city landmark status for the moviehouse, whose lobby operated as the Portola Theater starting in 1919 and which was expanded and opened as the 1,000-seat showcase Admiral Theater in 1942.

Because of its landmark status, the Admiral was saved from potential demolition. It reopened in 1992 under the new ownership of the Gartin family, which owns it to this day. It will undergo a massive renovation this summer, including conversion to four screens and the exposure of long-covered underwater auditorium murals, while preserving the building’s historic features.

Over the years, on behalf of the historical society, Eals also served on Earl Cruzen’s “Murals of Seattle” team in 1989-1993, led several yearly “Homes with History” tours in the 1990s, participated in the 1994 campaign to secure Alki voter approval of the historical society’s purchase of the building that became its museum, emceed dozens of society events and worked to deepen the organization’s partnership with South Seattle College. After a fire damaged the inside of the city-landmark Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead, he represented the society in a coalition of four heritage organizations behind a “This Place Matters” effort to ensure preservation and restoration of the log building one-half block from the museum.

The society’s most recent campaign, to seek city landmark status for the Campbell and Hamm buildings in the West Seattle Junction, stems from the yearlong West Seattle Junction Historical Survey, for which Eals participated on the steering committee.

In his professional life in addition to his journalistic positions, Eals worked 13 years as an editor and writer for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, five years as communication officer for the Encompass children’s services nonprofit in North Bend, and two years as a journalism teacher and adviser at South Seattle College.

As an author, he wrote and secured publication of two books, both biographies, on child film actress Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu in “It’s a Wonderful Life”) in 1996 and singer/songwriter Steve Goodman (“City of New Orleans”) in 2007. He also wrote for and designed a third book, “Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest,” in 2005.

Eals, who turns 65 in July, was born in Seattle, grew up on Mercer Island, and secured a journalism degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene. “My mother was born and raised in West Seattle, across the street from the wading pool at Hiawatha Park, and when I was a child we often visited my grandparents,” Eals says, “so I developed my love for West Seattle at an early age.” He and his wife, Meg, moved to West Seattle in 1982. They live in the North Admiral neighborhood. They have a daughter and granddaughter who live in Philadelphia.

“Looking back, I think that in my professional and personal roles I have evolved into a pied piper,” he says. “This reflects my belief that no matter what we think about how or why we are all here on this earth, we are not meant to be hermits. We are meant to connect with other people, to engage and inspire them – and to appreciate the gifts of those who came before us. We stand on the shoulders of giants. And no matter what we pursue and how we spend our time, it’s not about the physical things, but rather it’s about bringing people together, in real time, for common purpose.

“One of my favorite words is the verb ‘champion,’ and my favorite phrases include ‘a sum greater than its parts’ and ‘making something out of nothing.’ What all of that means is that we accomplish anything in this life only when we build relationships with others. And over the years, I have been fortunate to collaborate with a great number of extraordinary people. When you come down to it, it’s all about gratitude.”

ABOUT THE ORVILLE RUMMEL TROPHY: It’s named after the man who founded the parade in 1934, Orville Rummel – lots of background in the story we published the year we were honored with it, in 2010. The award was first presented in 1984. Here’s the full list of recipients from 1984 through 2015:

1984: Charles and Ann Gage
1985: RB Chris Crisler Jr.
1986: Morgan and Carol McBride
1987: Margaret Miaullis
1988: Charles Jung
1989: Aurlo Bonney
1990: Katie Thorburn
1991: Dorothy Poplawski
1992: Dan Wiseman
1993: Virgil Sheppard
1994: Dorene Smith
1995: Doris Richards
1996: John Kelly
1997: Dick Kennedy
1998: Jim Edwards and Barbara Edwards
1999: Lt. David E. Cass
2000: Husky Deli/Miller Family
2001: Stephanie Haskins
2002: Forest Lawn
2003: Sue Lindblom
2004: Edgar and Ann Phipps
2005: Karen Sisson
2006: Walt DeLong
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2016: Clay Eals

Orlando reaction: Serenade on the C-Line

Thanks to @smyliegrl for calling this KUOW report to our attention via Twitter: A C-Line rider serenaded his fellow passengers in West Seattle with the 1965 classic “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” to counter Orlando-massacre despondency. In the KUOW clip, you’ll hear part of it – and a followup interview with the singing passenger. (Lyrics here.)

Seafair Pirates’ early landing in West Seattle

June 15, 2016 10:44 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

piratekid

10:44 AM: A week and a half before the Seafair Pirates storm ashore at Alki Beach, they invaded The Junction for about half an hour this morning.

piratesstep

The Pirates’ half-hour turn behind the counter at the West Seattle Junction Starbucks was in honor of today’s official Seafair Kickoff. Manager Steph even snagged a selfie with the Pirates (above) and others got the chance to mug, too:

piratevamp

Next guaranteed chance to see the Seafair Pirates in West Seattle is on Alki Beach Saturday, June 25th, for their annual Landing – the celebration is all day long, 10 am-6 pm, but the official website says they’ll be landing about midway through, around 2 pm (Seafair’s website says 1:30). You’ll also see them in the West Seattle Grand Parade four weeks later, Saturday, July 23rd.

As for the rest of Seafair – see the full slate of regional events here, including the Parade of Ships (August 3rd) visible from West Seattle shores, and the Air Show (featuring the Blue Angels) August 4-7.

ADDED 2:02 PM: Seafair also announced this year’s royalty at a downtown kickoff event. Chosen as Queen Alcyone is radio personality Shellie Hart, who’s from West Seattle; King Neptune is former Seahawks player Jordan Babineaux. Actress Anna Faris will be Grand Marshal of the Torchlight Parade.

From West Seattle to Orlando: ‘Reflection’ tonight at Tibbetts UMC

June 14, 2016 9:09 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Some have asked if any events/vigils are planned in West Seattle in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre. We just received this:

Reflection, meditation, and prayer at Tibbetts UMC this evening from 6 pm – 7 pm in the sanctuary:

Please join us in the sanctuary for a time of reflection and lifting up the families and victims of the massacre. This will be a time of meditation, prayer and reflection on the state of our nation.

Tibbetts (a WSB sponsor) is at 3940 41st SW.

From Seattle to Orlando: Card, flowers at OutWest Bar

June 12, 2016 5:49 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

outwest

For five years, OutWest Bar has been West Seattle’s only LGBTQ bar. Today, after news of the massacre at LGBTQ nightclub Pulse in Orlando, OutWest opened its doors early; a small table outside holds a card and flowers, with messages of sympathy and solidarity.

Funeral Mass next Monday for John W. Sisson, 1932-2016

June 3, 2016 10:49 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Family and friends will gather next Monday to remember John W. Sisson. Here’s the notice they’re sharing with the community:

John W. Sisson, beloved husband and father, passed away at home in his sleep May 25th.

He was born in Minnesota in 1932. He was the son of Frank and Ruth Sisson. He spent a 35-year career in public service as an auditor for the General Accounting Office. He loved horses, boats, camping, reading, dogs, sports cars, WWII aircraft, and especially his family. He would always make time for his family.

His funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 am on Monday, June 6th, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 7000 35th Avenue SW in West Seattle.

In lieu of flowers please consider a gift to either the Union Gospel Mission or the Seattle Humane Society.

Please visit his memorial web page here.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

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